Monthly Archives: February 2016

Time Effective Content Marketing Strategies

Content Marketing StrategiesTime Effective Content Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Recently I worked with a small group of entrepreneurs at my Retreat in Santa Barbara. They wanted to know how they could create relevant content for their business websites and blogs without feeling like they were stuck in front of the computer endlessly with the writing process. There are several strategies I teach on this very topic, and we will go into more detail with the top three here. They are original content, curated content, and guest writing.

Writing original content is always going to be one of the best content marketing strategies when it comes to building your business and your brand. You know your topic inside and out and have both an interest and a passion for it that no one else will have. Time management is possible when you schedule out both the topics you wish to write about and the days and times you will sit down and commit to writing. I tend to do this during the early morning several days each week. I keep a small legal pad on my desk so that I always know what I will be writing about. Research time is kept to no more than five minutes for any piece of writing, and the writing is limited to anywhere from three hundred fifty to about eight hundred words in total. Over time you will develop your “voice” so that readers get used to your tone and inflection through your writing.

The second method of content marketing is through something that is referred to as “curated” content. This is content based on someone else’s original writing and then expanded upon by you with your thoughts, opinions, and examples. There are some excellent writers on every topic you can think of whom regularly create content that can be curated. In my business I have used writing from people like Seth Godin and Neil Patel to curate my own articles and posts. They teach and inspire me and I like to put my spin on their work to connect my audience to these new concepts. Everyone wins with curation.

Guest writing is the third method of content creation I will address here. This was first brought to my attention when it was taught to me as “guest blogging” more than ten years ago now. The idea is to trade original articles with people in complimentary niches and industries so that you are all exposed to different audiences over time. This was very intimidating to me when I was first online working as an entrepreneur. The others all seemed so experienced and professional in my opinion, and I was just starting out. When I made the decision to jump in and write something I believed to be of interest it was the best decision I could have made.

By now you can see that there are many ways to honor your time and still create enough content to publish on your sites on a regular basis. Spend some time planning out topics you can include as original content, curated content, and guest written content and see how well this serves you in your business. Content truly makes the world go ’round, and these strategies will help you with managing your time as a content marketer.

I am reminded of a quote from Anne Tyler. “If I waited until I felt like writing I’d never write at all.” Once you learn how to get your writing done in a reasonable amount of time this will make even more sense as a business and marketing strategy.

Content marketing is all about positioning yourself as an expert, continuing to create massive visibility, and building credibility for yourself and your business.

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Podcast: Adrienne Dupree – Leave the Corporate World Behind

Adrienne DupreeAdrienne Dupree on “How to Leave the Corporate World Behind”

Adrienne Dupree is someone you’ll want to know and to learn from. She and I originally met at Armand Morin’s live event in  Atlanta in the fall of 2010 and I was immediately drawn to her kindness, intelligence, and integrity. Eventually she joined my Mentor Program and is now quite successful in her own right. She is best known for “leaving the corporate world behind” at the end of 2015 in order to pursue her dream of entrepreneurship.

With so many business models to choose from, Adrienne worked through some of these on her way to success. A bestselling author, you can find out more by reading her book, Leave the Corporate World Behind, where she and others share their experiences of leaving the corporate world behind in favor of entrepreneurship. This is a must read if you are thinking of making this jump in your own career.

Adrienne has been extremely successful with selling on Amazon, and during this interview I ask her specific questions about this journey, as well as the step by step details of how someone can get started with retail arbitrage and wholesaling physical products to sell online. She is quite forthcoming with how she is doing it, something I greatly admire. Even though she was not an overnight success with this, her determination to succeed and perseverance in trying out what she learned to see which methods and strategies work best for her. This is the true measure of a leader, in my honest opinion.

Ask anyone who has met Adrienne in person and they will tell you that she is highly intelligent, generous to a fault, and anxious to learn as much as she can to grow her business and to help others reach their own goals and dreams. I know you will enjoy this podcast interview as you get to know her much better. She and I now work together to help new online entrepreneurs through the 10K Laser Coaching Program. Please take a look to see if this would be helpful for you or for someone you know.

Find out more about what Adrienne can teach you by visiting this page. Online entrepreneurship can become your way of life as well.

Subscribe To All Interviews In My Podcast Series

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computer repair

IT support for small business, home users and remote support. Computer repair, laptop repair, network installation, managed IT services and virus removal.

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Mentoring with Connie Ragen Green in the Online Marketing Incubator

Connie Ragen Green Incubator

Hands Holding Mentor

Connie Ragen Green Incubator Mentoring

The Connie Ragen Green Incubator program is personalized mentoring with me. I prefer to use the word mentor rather than coaching because mentoring involves a relationship wherein the mentor guides the mentee and promotes them and their business. I have been described as a stage mother, or as a mother hen guiding her chicks to success in the big world of internet marketing. I consider this to be the most sincere form of flattery, as my people do achieve their goals after working with me and following my recommendations as to the steps and actions they must take in order to grow their businesses.

The word incubator comes from an idea used around the world to describe a group of like-minded individuals who come together regularly, typically in person, to explore ideas and establish strategies for business growth. My Incubator is primarily virtual, even though we do meet face to face at my live events twice a year in Los Angeles and at my Retreats in Santa Barbara throughout the year.

What Exactly Does Mentoring Involve?

First, let’s talk about what mentoring is. Essentially, a mentor helps a client/mentee with a specific problem within their expertise to clarify the issue, identify any blocks, and helps the mentee move forward toward reaching their goals by choosing a sequence of actions, helping them create a strategy and holding them accountable. They’ll help lead the mentee to success.

As you can see by the definition, there are a lot of problems with mentoring as a career in terms of finding a way to earn more money, since mentoring can be so time-consuming. It takes a lot of time, not only one-on-one with the client, but also time outside of working with the client to find the right solutions for the client.

The issues that you may have as a mentor are:

  • Time Intensive – Spending one-one-one time with clients is time intensive. It can also be draining. Most mentors find working one-on-one with too many clients difficult, if not impossible. They find that four to six clients a month is more than enough to keep them super busy and occupied but not enough to earn the kind of money they want. Instead, as a mentor I pick and choose the clients I wish to work with so that the relationships are mutually beneficial and joyous for everyone involved in my Incubator Mentoring Program. I am also able to work with more people as I implement strategies that work.
  • Trading Hours for Dollars – You have to charge enough per hour to make it worth it. You’re not going to be able to book 40 hours a week for billable clients so you have to charge quite a lot to make a living. It can be difficult to find the right clients who will spend that type of money on a regular basis. Having the proper attitude about this will make all of the difference in your results and your income.
  • Finding Enough Clients – Most mentoring courses teach you to find about ten clients a month. At $500 a month per client you’ll be earning $5000 a month working. Even if you only provide two 1-hour session a month per client, then add in the time you work that’s not billable, you’ll easily be working twenty to thirty hours a month just talking to clients. Add to this the time you have to spend marketing and finding those clients. The rest of your time, in my opinion and based on my experience, must be spent with actually doing the things you are mentoring on, such as affiliate marketing, product creation, teaching online courses, and authorship.
  • Choosing a Viable Niche for Specialization – Picking a niche is an important part of being an effective mentor. You want to present a perspective client that you are focusing on a particular area of their life or business to help them, such as parenting or social media marketing. Picking the right niche is imperative if you want to be successful. My niche is online marketing and content creation, as these are the areas where I continue to excel.
  • Getting Your Mentees to Follow Through – It can be really frustrating to know what’s best for your clients but have them not follow through. These types of clients will often also drop out of your mentoring program, which means you have to find yet another one to fill the spot. I like to think of myself as a mentor who both inspires and motivates my mentees, and then shows them specific ways to grow the business they are imagining.
  • Not Having One Main Focus – This is like choosing a niche, but even stronger. You need one main thing that you’re an expert in to differentiate you from the rest of the mentors out there. You can’t be everything to everyone. This can be both empowering and limiting when it comes to being a mentor. I focus on affiliate marketing, information product creation, and authorship as a way to differentiate myself, based on what I have the most experience in and actually do within my own online business.
  • Not Having Other Products and Services – Many mentors think all they need is to talk to people on the phone once or twice a month to be successful. But, if you don’t have other products and services that relate to your mentoring practice, it will be hard to fill your client roster. I have more than forty information products and online training courses, as well as more than a dozen bestselling books in my inventory.

If you can break through these issues, you can create a thriving mentoring business that involves a lot more than one-on-one mentoring, help more people and earn a lot more income in the process. Being a mentor and running my Online Marketing Incubator are the most satisfying and rewarding parts of my business.

If you would like to know more about the Connie Ragen Green Incubator Mentoring Program, please take a look at what I offer and then contact me if you have more questions. I would love to have you in the group!

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Press Release Examples: How to Write a Release That Stands Out

Press Release ExamplesPress Release: Examples of Effective Ones for Your Business

Having just spent two weeks in Santa Barbara at the International Film Festival I am once again reminded of how and why press releases are so important. Small, independent films from countries around the world received more attention when press releases were distributed throughout the festival. This is an effective way to communicate directly with the audience you wish to reach, while sharing the exact and specific information you wish to share.

According to its definition, a press release, also referred to as a news release, media release, or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. This is just a fancy way of saying what I wrote in the previous paragraph, but it sounds much better this way.

Long ago, perhaps in an English class you may have been taught that press releases should contain the “who, what, where, when, and why” of a news story. Even thought this is still true, in modern times we have expanded upon this to include some other components. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind as you are composing your release:

  • Remember that your press release is intended to arouse interest from your target audience
  • Whatever you choose to write must actually be newsworthy
  • Use quotes whenever possible, and ask permission before using them
  • Grab attention with your headline and then get right to the point
  • Write in the third person when you compose your press release
  • Include your contact information so that people may connect with you

Press releases are intended to pique the interest of journalists and the media, so take your time to put together a release that is well thought out, well written, and informative. This can be the first step in achieving your goal of visibility for yourself and your topic. The marketplace is flooded with potential stories and pitches on a daily basis, so making yours stand out from the pack is crucial if you are to maintain credibility.

If you assume that ninety-nine percent of the people who read your release do not actually care about you or your topic you will be forced to make it interesting, succinct, and detailed. This will make it much easier for you to sift through the readers and find the exact people and groups who will be interested and benefit from what you have to offer.

Before you even begin writing your press release, ask yourself what end goal you have in mind. For example, do you want people to read your book, attend your event, or contact you for an interview? If you know where you are going from the very beginning you have a much better chance of hitting your goal and moving forward.

I hope these press release examples are helpful to you. I recommend using the free services available online first, and then paying for publication and distribution of your releases. What other questions do you have on press release examples?

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Smart Marketing Goals

Smart Marketing GoalsSmart Marketing Goals

Goal setting is an important part of doing business. You have to set goals for every aspect of your business and that most certainly includes marketing. You’ve likely heard that goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The acronym for this strategy is S.M.A.R.T. The reason this is a good plan of action is that it gives you a place to start when it comes to setting out your own smart marketing goals. You might think that the goal of marketing is always selling, but it’s not.  It’s actually all about building relationships and serving others.

Know Your Purpose

You may have smart marketing goals for various purposes for your business such as spreading awareness, building your email list, getting more social engagement or something else entirely. The important thing is to understand the purpose of the marketing that you’re doing.

Where Do You Stand Now?

If you don’t have much of a list or a social media following, then it’s important to access what you should do first. Should you build more of a following and if so, exactly how will you accomplish it?

Where Do You Want to Be?

Look toward the future of when you meet the goal that you set for yourself based on where you currently stand.

Determine What Is Next

Always knowing what you’ll do next when you reach a particular goal is helpful to setting the best marketing goals for your business. It’s always first things first – build your blog, build your list, market to the list. Repeat.

Map It All Out

Creating a map of where you have been, where you are now, and where you want to go will help you succeed in the marketing goals that you set for yourself. It will also enable you to see gaps in your choices so that you can fill them.

Don’t Jump the Gun

If you haven’t tried content marketing yet, don’t spend thousands of dollars on banner advertising. You want to start where you are now, and work your way up to where you want to be.

Understand Your Audience

All marketing starts with your audience, and without knowing who they are it will be difficult to create a marketing plan that will work for you.

Know Your Products and Services

Understanding how your products and services benefit your audience will also help you know where to start with your marketing efforts. Does your audience know that they need what you have, or do you need to educate them?

Do the research you need to do in order to know your audience, learn your products, and to evaluate where you stand today. This is necessary to ensure that you choose the best smart marketing goals for your business today and in the future. What works for you today may not work for your business tomorrow.

I teach a course on Really Simple Content Marketing that ties in directly with the smart marketing goals I share here. Add your name to my list in order to learn more about this at the end of February, 2016.

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Time Management For Entrepreneurs

Time Management for EntrepreneursTime Management For Entrepreneurs

I had never thought of myself as a time management expert, but when I came online in 2006 it was obvious that I was managing my time in a way that worked well for me as a new online entrepreneur. This led to a book I co-authored with the late Geoff Hoff, entitled Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs: Hoe to Manage Your Time to Increase Your Bottom Line. It became a bestseller and continues to rank highly.
It’s amazing how much some people manage to get done, while others seem to be stuck in a rut without enough time in the day to accomplish much of anything. But, here’s the secret. Everyone has the same amount of time in every single day. It’s one way in which we are all created equal. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in a day. Here are some tips on how to get started with managing your time.

Track Your Activities for a Week

To get a real picture of how you spend your time, try tracking everything you do for at least one week. Use a small recorder to record when you start and stop any task, and include the time. Alternatively, just use an old-fashioned pad and paper. Don’t change anything for now; just live your life as you do.

Evaluate

Now look at how you spent your time. Organize each thing that you did into urgent, important, family, fun, and time suckers. Some things that are fun might fall into the category of time sucking and that’s okay, because you can place limits on some things to still allow yourself to have fun without going overboard into time wasting.

Assign All Important Tasks to a “To-Do” List

Everything that is urgent and important should be scheduled. Some urgent and important things will also be family things. Put it all into the schedule. Give it the amount of time you think it will take, adding a few minutes for padding to avoid run over and missed deadlines.

Schedule Fun and Down Time

Don’t forget to put time for fun into your schedule. Fun often goes with family and friends and it is a very important part of your life. The trick is to schedule the right amount of time and the right amount of fun, without intruding on the important and urgent tasks and activities that you also must do.

Spend Time Each Night and Morning in Planning Mode

Take the time each evening to evaluate how your day went, decide what could have been done better, or what needs longer or shorter times to accomplish. If you do this you will get better at creating a plan. Each morning take the time to look over your schedule to remind yourself what is coming up so you don’t forget anything. Never rely on just memory or you will get off track.

Create a Plan of Action for Each Activity

It doesn’t matter if the plan is for family time, for business, or something else – if you create a plan of attack for each item on your to-do list, you’ll accomplish it faster with fewer problems. One of the biggest time wasters is jumping from item to item. Stick to one thing at a time until it’s done and you’ll feel as if you have a lot more time in your day.

Train Others to Respect Your Time

If you have a business, especially if you work from home, you will often find that other people seem to lack respect for your time. The real issue is that you’ve not taught people to respect your time. As Oprah (or maybe it was Dr. Phil) once said, “You teach people how to treat you.” Are you teaching people to respect your time? If not, it’s time to start doing so.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

Never underestimate the power of delegation for getting more time in your day. A good assistant can almost double your time. So while you can’t actually get more time, remember that everyone has the same 24 hours. You can create a situation where you duplicate yourself by hiring an assistant or outsourcing some mundane tasks such as housework or lawn care. There is no such thing as a successful CEO who doesn’t delegate.

Finally, it’s important to always be realistic about what can really be accomplished in any given amount of time. No matter how much you want to be, you’re not superwoman (or man) – you’re just a human who is doing their best to manage the resources they have. If something doesn’t get done today, move it to tomorrow. As you get better at scheduling, you’ll get it down to a science on how long it really takes you to do any particular task and you’ll have fewer days where you don’t succeed. Developing time management for entrepreneurs is a skill that will serve you well. And pick up my book, Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs: Hoe to Manage Your Time to Increase Your Bottom Line to make this a natural part of your daily routine. You’ll thank yourself for doing so, I promise.

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Social Media Marketing – Your 2016 Update

Social Media MarketingSocial Media Marketing for 2016

A reader contacted me recently to discuss using social media to build her business. She says that she is an introvert and that she doesn’t feel comfortable spending so much time on the various social media sites in order to build her business quickly. Being an introvert myself, I feel like this is a topic that deserves further discussion.

Being an early adopter of social media, my motto from day one was to “get in, get out, and get back to work”. When Facebook opened its doors to the general public in 2008 (prior to this it was intended only for college students who had an email address issued by the institution they were attending) we were all faced with the dilemma of deciding how much information was enough and how to best connect with other people so as to promote our businesses.

Twitter came to life soon after, and this further complicated the issue in that we only had one hundred and forty characters in which to grab someone’s attention. In some ways this was a relief, as we could quickly announce where we were or what we were having for lunch and at least feel like we were a part of the conversation. Over time this gave way to being able to post pictures via a third part application such as Instagram, so that our followers could at least have a visual of what we were sharing through our carefully chosen words.

Fast forward to 2016, and social media has now gone through an even more sophisticated incarnation. Think of it as a way to syndicate your content in cyberspace. For example, the post you are reading here will already have made its way from an offline publication I write for monthly, to a half dozen social media sites before it ever hits the electronic format you are reading here on my blog.

Thinking of it in this way allows you the time to carefully put together your message in a way that will tell the story of who you are, what you have to offer, what’s new in your industry, and how it will benefit your target audience long before you hit “send” or “reply” on your computer. Add to this the ability for you to start and continue a dialog with your market and you have the perfect storm for no cost advertising and reputation building. When you think of social media in this way it changes your perspective quite a bit, I would imagine.

Get started by reviewing your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other sites you wish to get involved with to promote and grow your business. Start slowly, making sure to have a picture that adequately represents you (actually looks like you!), and that your information is clear, concise, and up to date. Assume that people who connect with you will want to reach out and do so through your website, the telephone, and even in person.

Now spend some time lurking on each site to get an idea of what people are posting. Attempt to be an objective as possible when deciding if what you are observing is beneficial to business connection and growth or just downright silly. Make some notes about posts that make you want to know more about someone and their business. Ask questions like:

  • Would an image or a video be helpful here?
  • How can I best share my business values?
  • What do I want people to do after they connect with me?

Now jump in and make some posts and updates to your main profiles. Start slowly, giving some detailed information about something directly related to your business or your personal values. For example, you may wish to mention that you are at your Rotary Club meeting and listening to a speaker on a specific topic. Over time this will become more fun, as the people you are with are most likely also on social media and will like it when you include them in your posts and updates. This is an example of how we all help each other using social media marketing.

As you can see, spending time on social media can be a worthwhile venture. Set up your profiles, observe what others are doing, and then get started right away to share your message and your business with prospects near and far. What other questions do you have about social media marketing?

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